Friday, September 13, 2013

Vacation, Pears, and Real Life

Hey guys!  I'm sorry I've been so quiet lately.  When Gwen from over at Sky n Surf asked if I was alright and said she missed me, it made me realize that I should probably stop being lazy and write something.  (Thanks, Gwen!)

Life has been kind of crazy.  Well first, for a week at the end of August, Chad and I went on vacation.  It was really nice to get away.  We rented a little cabin in the woods in PA and just relaxed.  We did some hiking, took some scenic drives, went to a few gift shops, stopped in at a winery, had a campfire every night (with s'mores!), and did a whole lot of just sitting around relaxing.  The weather didn't cooperate the whole time, but the cabin was cozy and we brought some good books with us.  It was a very nice, relaxing vacation.  And now here's some pictures.

Red Spotted Purple butterfly (can't decide why they call it that, but there you have it)
Some sort of cute tree frog.
Chad climbing up his favorite boulder.

Chad next to a little creek at the bottom of a huge hill we climbed.
Me next to the same creek!

Old nonworking fountain.

Pretty wooded trail.

Sunbeam in a part of the forest called the Forest Cathedral.

The trees in this forest are some of the oldest stands of trees in the eastern US.  They've been untouched for 400 years.

The trail was quite hilly.  We climbed up 1000+ feet and then had to come back down.

At the bottom was a pretty creek with at least a dozen bridges over it.

And here's the creek.

Here's the winery we went to.  It was very nice. 

The fires were always nice.  Relaxing, quite, warm, and it was fun to build them.

Inky cap mushrooms, so called because they start melting into black goo after a couple days.


Some sort of shelf fungus.

THE hugest millipede I've ever seen.  It was as thick as my pinky and twice as long.
As relaxing as the vacation was, though, things went crazy once we got home.  Just like an hour or two after we got home, my mom's car broke down and we had to go pick her up and help her get it taken care of.  Right before we left for vacation, I picked two pear trees (one in my neighbor's yard, and one in Chad's mom's yard), which yielded almost two bushels of pears.  If you're not familiar with how big a bushel is, imagine a 5 gallon bucket.  A bushel is just about two of those.  So I had a ton of pears (and it took several hours to pick them, but that was the easy part).  Since pears don't ripen on the tree and only ripen once picked, I like to pick them before we go on vacation so that when we get back, they're almost ripe and ready to process. 

Well, I've never had so many pears before.  It was an amazing year for pears, and this is the first year I've picked my neighbor's yard.  So for literally a whole week, I did just about nothing but work on pears.  Peeled, cored, cut up, cooked, canned.  I made canned pear halves in extra light syrup, pear sauce, pear jelly, pear preserves, pear salsa, and pear conserve.  I ended up with something like 24 quarts of canned pears, and like 10 pounds of pear trimmings in my compost pile.

Happy pear.

Two bushels of pears turned into 24 quarts of canned goods.  Also, my MIL made me that quilt!
So after the week of pear hell, I seriously haven't wanted to do anything at all.  Sleep mostly, video games, some reading, and when I'm up to it, doing the cleaning that never got done.  After a week of recuperating, I'm feeling much better. 

I've been having trouble getting back into the swing of the low carb way of life.  Chad and I didn't go overboard on our vacation.  We tended to eat very smart low carb meals, but we did splurge like every day.  There was always s'mores at night around the fire, and there was ice cream a couple of times.  It's especially going to be difficult getting back into the sugar free lifestyle because September is our month of celebration.  We've already had one birthday party (my 5 year old nephew), and my birthday is Sunday.  Then there's our anniversary, and then Chad's birthday.  And my niece is about ready to have her baby, so there will probably be another birthday in September soon.  Ugh.

So I think I caught you all up on just about everything going on in my life lately.  I hope I can get back into the swing of writing regularly.  I'd hate to lose you guys :)


  1. Welcome back! :D Those photos of your vacation; wow, what an incredible place! And the mushrooms look straight out of a fairy tale!

    You weren't lazy; you were just still relishing your vacay mojo. LOL

  2. Welcome back!

    I can relate to going back to no sweets--I made myself a crazy birthday cake last month (there was literally as much frosting as there was actual cake) and I ended up being nearly the only one to eat it, so basically a had a (small) piece of cake every single day for 2 weeks. Decided to gradually wean myself off of sweets--made your low carb peanut butter cookies and had a couple of those every day for the following week.

    Anyway, it is difficult and I'm still working on it, but I hear ya.